On December 04, 1982 David Gergen rolled out of bed and had his career “aha” moment. Gergen knew he was wanted to help save lives all around the world, although oddly enough it was going to be through a dental career. At this point in time he hadn’t calculated his algorithm for success, but it was coming and coming fast. Since that point in time , Gergen has built one of the most successful dental labs in the World. He revolutionized the sleep industry through oral appliances therapy and new training programs to educate the dentists about their unique value in sleep medicine. Because of his innovations Gergen has won many top dental technician awards year after year. Awarded by Columbus Dental, Gelb and ASBA etc. He stands alone as the world’s most famous dental technician.
For more than 30 years , Gergen spent the fall coaching football. And that is where he learned most many of his life lessons.
It comes as no surprise that Gergen, father of nine children, would focus a good deal of his professional life to helping young adults achieve their goals.
For the majority of his professional life, Gergen worked to straighten teeth for cosmetic reasons, and to help create functional oral structures for patients with severe trauma or developmental issues. Gergen who works with Dr. Paul Serrano at the Barros neurological institute assisting brain surgeons to reconstruct facial anatomy after the tumor has been removed . David Gergen has not had you’re a typical career as a dental professional! Due to Gergen’s efforts in the sleep industry, attention has turned to the effects of poor jaw position on children. “A small airway often forces children to breathe through their mouth and posture their head forward resulting in rounded shoulders and back problems,” explains Gergen. “Continuing this position over many years will create permanent changes in posture. Poor breathing habits and can result in heart and lung problems later in life.”
After 30 years of establishing better jaw and tooth function through orthodontics, Gergen decided that he was going to focus on the airway. His pediatric sleep appliance is a direct result of all of this experience and experimentation. Despite the growing evidence, Gergen laments that, “Some physicians still believe that oral appliances are ineffective for treating OSA. Gergen has stated “As a dental sleep industry, I don’t think we’ve done a good enough job educating the public and physicians.”
Gergen’s pediatric sleep appliance is worn on the child’s upper and lower teeth and gives dentists an opportunity to guide the growth of the child’s arch forms and teeth alignment— more importantly, the airway. Expansion of the upper jaw will create more room for the tongue to posture forward and create a more open the airway.
“The simple shape and construction of the lower appliance will help stage the growth of the child’s teeth allowing the dentist to control the growth rates of the teeth for maximum cosmetic and palliative effect,” enthuses Gergen. “One of the best parts of the treatment is that all the time this growth is being controlled, the jaw is held slightly forward creating an open airway leading to better and deeper sleep patterns.”
Children undergoing standard orthodontic care have noticed many positive changes for example stopped bed wetting, child behavior and Improved grades. Today, experts have measured the improved sleep patterns and the increase in airway size that comes from a better jaw position. These patients breathe better at night and wake up more able to deal with the demands of the day.
When Gergen decided to change the world of sleep medicine, it seemed like something outside the realm of possibility. How could a dental professional change the sleep industry?
In 2008 Gergen created a new company, the PPHA ( Pro Player Health Alliance ) working with NFL greats and the Living Heart Foundation (LHF). Pro Player Health Alliance was created to treat the sleep health needs of retired NFL players, educate the physicians of the importance of dentist and dental devices for OSA therapy ,” explains Gergen, “while at the same time raising awareness of sleep apnea as a silent killer.” The reason we are the best the answer is simple
Gergen could have easily sat back and enjoy the fruits of his businesses, but instead he spends his time and resources promoting education and awareness about sleep disorders.
In August 2011, David Gergen’s first dental sleep program was presented to a group of 25 doctors in Sonoma, Calif. Because of Gergen today there are sleep program every single weekend. That same year David Gergen was approached by a medical sleep academy that asked David Gergen to be the sleep director. It was going to be the world’s first multiple disciplinary academy called America Sleep and Breathing academy.
Gergen will remain at the center of these programs. He will be building teams, asking hard questions, and the sleep industry will be better for it.